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AoC responds to UCU strike action

26 October 2023

Responding to UCU's announcement on college strikes in November David Hughes, chief executive, Association of Colleges, said:

“We have been very clear with unions leaders that the way in which the funding is allocated – through the 16-18 budget and linked to high-cost subjects – means that the additional funding available for pay rises varies enormously between colleges.

“Because of that, the AoC Employment Committee recommended that colleges should use all of their share of the £200 million pounds of additional government funding to address staff recruitment and retention challenges, to be open and transparent about the total additional funding their individual institution has received and show how it is being used to address the pay issues they face. I would urge union branches in the 30 colleges to sit down and discuss this with the college and reach agreement.

“Strike action only disrupts learners, and we have agreed to work with the unions to explore the potential for new national pay bargaining arrangements and how much it would cost to harmonise pay upwards to match schools and industry. We urge the unions to call off the strike action, and instead both explore national pay arrangements and work collectively with us to campaign for further investment ahead of the general election to put college pay back on track.”